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Thoughts and inspiration

This blog as a source of inspiration and provocative thought.

Being the person challenging the status quo

In any work we do as designers or leaders of design teams, we tend to create some form of change. This is of course the nature of design, design is a process of creating new realities for others to experience.

This means we need to be fluent in the language and nature of change. Of course change management is its own well developed and comprehensive discipline, so this article is not about teaching you about change theory. I’ve included a couple of references at the bottom that I think are good ‘human-centred’ perspectives of change. Interestingly, they are both based on the influential model created by Dr Elizabeth Kübler-Ross from her book, "On death and dying" (1976). The nature of her exploration was, of course, intimately human centred.

What I want to talk about, of course, is what it takes to be the person who is leading some form of change. This does not need to be organisational or nation level transformation, although what I share with you is...

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The three dangers of certainty.

We tend to like to keep things knowable. And by knowable I’m referring to feeling as certain about something as we possibly can. The conundrum is that most domains that require design and leadership are complex and dynamic, and some aspects of these systems are unknowable. And where we have complexity and ambiguity what do we have? Yep… we have uncertainty.

The way we typically deal with uncertainty is to view it as something that needs to be managed. We do this in business all the time, we manage uncertainty with a risk lens. Coming up with multiple risk mitigation strategies to know what to do if a particular scenario plays out in an unpredictable future. And when we have a risk mitigation approach to uncertainty what inevitably happens is we get rid of as much of it as we can. Mostly because we feel more comfortable and in control. We feel we make better decisions when we have more certainty, in fact, we often wait to act as we wait for certainty to reach a certain...

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